Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Kid Painted Teepee & Teepee Pattern

You can read about how we created the fabric to this Teepee here. The painting of this fabric was a LOT of fun.

To recap I used 3 2/3 yards (approx 11ft) of plain white 90" muslin - this is a nice weight of muslin - very white, close weave and not sheer.) But you could use anything for this project, old sheets, duvet covers, patchwork fabric together, blankets. Just about any material would make a cute teepee. Magic Cabin have some canvas teepee's ready to paint if you don't feel like sewing one together yourself.

I used:
- 3 2/3 yards of plain white 90" wide muslin
- BioColor paints with added fabric medium
- thread
- strips of cotton for borders (totally optional - I used approx 1 yard each in two different fabrics - total 2 yards)
- 6 x round wood 8ft poles - holes are drilled 11" from top
- ribbon scraps for ties inside teepee & window opening
- string to tie the teepee poles together (I wrapped one of our homemade play silks around the string to hide it and add more color)

Once I had laundered and dried our painted fabric I lay it out on the floor and cut out the following panels. The tops of the triangle panels are cut off so the top edge measures 3" and the bottom of your panel measures 42".

The two edge triangles will make your doors into the teepee. I'm sad that our door panels don't have a huge amount of paint on them. If I did this project again I might limit the color palette AND concentrate on getting the girls to paint the edges of the fabric more. A LOT of our painting action went on in the middle of the fabric.

I decided to frame my panels with additional bright material (selected by the small bunnies of course!) - but I must admit half way through adding the strips I wondered why I was doing it. Though I hope it adds something. It certainly adds heft and strength to the structure. I cut the strips at 1.75" wide and with the seams they now measure approx 1.25". I attached the strips using a straight stitch and then used a zig zag over the seams. In all I used up a little less than 2 additional yards of fabric from my stash just with the strips, door ties & window.

After I had sewn the panels together I also zigzagged down those seams too. I sadly discovered that using zigzag stitch liberally can use up a lot of thread! (eeeek) but oh how I have learned to love the zigzag - such an adaptable stitch - can be used for all sorts of purposes!

Once you have most of your seams together - apart from the two front panels. You should have something that looks like this.

This would be a good time to add any windows - should you want to enter into this madness. Our window is 12" square. I cut it 30" above the ground in the center of the panel.

I drew the lines first with water soluble pen. And attached some extra thick & strong interfacing that I found at JoAnn's (it is about the thickness of cardboard) around the 3 lines. Once I cut the flap I put a border around the flap. The border sticks out about 3/4" from the edge of the fabric. I used a fusible iron on adhesive to put all these bits together & then I sewed around the edges to prevent the fabric from fraying.

I also added additional ties to this panel of the teepee (four on each seam instead of three) so that the window panel would me a little more taut. Added some purple ribbon to tie the window up & voila.

A window (I was sternly told by my 4 year old that there should have been 7 windows. All the ribbon in this project - the window ties and the inside ties are made from ribbon I am still recycling from our Princess Tea Party!

The front two half triangle panels are sewn 1/3 of the way down from the top. I sewed a very thin seam on the inside with a straight stitch and then zigzagged down that stitch on the front side too.

Each panel seam has three ties on the inside of the teepee (apart from the aforementioned window panel that has four ties on the seams.) One at the top, middle and bottom. The door panels have tie backs that were sewed in at the same time as the side panel & door panel were sewn together. The tie backs are attached 1/3 of the way up the side seam.

The teepee also looks very colorful from inside.

No one can say that this teepee is boring.

I think Jackson Pollack would have certainly enjoyed having it in his yard.

I hope these notes help you put together a fun teepee of your own. 


hetty said...

I love it! Seems like a lot of work, but I noticed the colourful strips along the upright poles immediately. You did a wonderful job, Mom. Your bunnies are so lucky!

Thimbleanna said...

That's adorable Rachael. I'll bet your girls are beside themselves -- what cute pictures!

Becky said...

I have been scratching my head trying to figure out how you did this. I think the yardage or the measurements are incorrect. 2 2/3 yd is 11 feet, but 42" times three ( which is the length you have marked on your diagram for the bottom of the triangle) works out to 3.5 yards. Could you clarify the measurements for me? It's so adorable, and I really want to make one!

Unknown said...

I am SO sorry - it should read 3 2/3 yd I've updated it! Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Thanks for sharing your instructions. I love this teepee and am going to try and make one.

What is the height and width of it finished - it looks really big.


Unknown said...

Yes - it is a good size. At the bottom on the inside it measures approx 6ft (point to point of a hexagon) and I would say that the teepee stands over 6ft tall. I hope that helps. Thank you so much for visiting Rachael Rabbit. Yours truly, Rachael.

Granny Helen said...

Hi Rachel,
I love the teepee, but is there any reason why you didn't use the reinforcing channels to hold the poles? i.e. just slip them into each channel, instead of using ties?
Or would that create problems?

Unknown said...

Dear Granny Helen, There is no reason why you couldn't make a channel instead of using ties. I don't think creating channels would cause any problems. It would mean needing more fabric (I tend to be very cheap in that regard!!!) & I perceive the ties to be an easier solution - particularly to someone who perhaps doesn't sew that much and wants to take this project on to make for their little ones. I hope that answers your questions.

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing the instructions! I was wondering if you could help me to calculate the measurements of the fabric if I want to make a shaller teepee, let's say ideally a 5,2 feet high... Thanks in advance!

Unknown said...

Hi Francesca - My teepee takes advantage of using a 90" width fabric - just cutting across the fabric on measured diagonals. Here is a really cool tutorial that uses one queen sized sheet and I believe it would yield the sort of size teepee that you desire.

Unknown said...

Here is the link to the tutorial I mention above

Anonymous said...

Hi Rachel
I love your teepee... Please would you point me in the direction where you bought 8ft round poles as my searches keep bringing up fence posts!
Hoping my little boy's tent is as colourful!

Unknown said...

Hi Claire, I got the wood poles from our local lumber yard Pelham Lumber in Pelham, NY but I think any local lumber yard would have them. You can also use PVC poles as well which are available at bigger stores like Home Depot. I hope you have fun!!